Author Topic: VTA ST-70  (Read 3784 times)

Offline Brap

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VTA ST-70
« on: January 17, 2017, 09:45:33 AM »
Well, my best friend is FINALLY getting into 2 channel, specifically tube gear so, I'm building a Bob Latino ST-70 for him with all the fixins. Upgraded caps, matched quad and stepped attenuator. Haven't built anything in 2 years  and getting the itch.
Zu Druid Mk V.
Transcendent OTL
Parasound Halo P5, Oppo 105
Rega RP3 w/Ortofon Quintet Bronze, Vincent PHO8
Teac 3340S
Libtec and Blue Jeans cables

Offline sleepyguy24

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 12:40:47 PM »
Have fun with the build. I saw in another forum people speak nicely of the Bob Latino kits.

http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/47280/bob-latino-vta-120-tube

I saw this kit a couple of years ago and was drooling over it. I'm not much of a DIYer.

http://www.thetubestore.com/Parts-Accessories/Amps-and-Amp-Kits/Elekit-TU-8300R-Single-Ended-Tube-Amp-Kit

Offline Brap

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 12:53:36 PM »
If you want to drool, check out Transcendent sound, their Son of Beast.  I built one and an OTL is really a sweet sound.
Zu Druid Mk V.
Transcendent OTL
Parasound Halo P5, Oppo 105
Rega RP3 w/Ortofon Quintet Bronze, Vincent PHO8
Teac 3340S
Libtec and Blue Jeans cables

Offline tmazz

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 07:44:28 PM »
I have not built any eletronics for at least 30 years now, but I have to say they were fun projects back when I had the time to do them.

Maybe now that retirement is just around the corner.........
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
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Offline richidoo

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 08:58:00 PM »
Looking forward to following your build and reading your opinion on the SQ of the ST-70, Brap. 

Offline Brap

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 06:50:23 AM »
Well, I previously built one for myself but with some slight modifications to the one I will start tonight. Mine has Gelelex KT-66's and Mundorf SGO caps.  This one will be EL-34 and K42-Y PIO caps.  I compare now with my OTL and I really like the ST-70 amp but with my Zu Druids, I prefer the OTL and with my Paradigm's I prefer the ST-70! Maybe something to do with speaker crossovers or just the difference with SDFR speaker versus traditional 3 way. Would like to hear comments on this as to why.  I will compare my ST70 to the one I  build and will report!
Zu Druid Mk V.
Transcendent OTL
Parasound Halo P5, Oppo 105
Rega RP3 w/Ortofon Quintet Bronze, Vincent PHO8
Teac 3340S
Libtec and Blue Jeans cables

Offline richidoo

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 03:29:33 PM »
The output impedance of the two amps is different. OTL has a LOT of negative feedback which lowers the source impedance to like 0.1 ohms. That will really affect some speakers that are designed with solid state amp in mind, like Paradigm/Anthem.

Normal tube amps usually have less feedback, higher source impedance and weaker damping. Some people like this as warmer, softer sound. SDFR speakers sound better with less electrical damping. Nelson Pass wrote an article on First Watt website about this, talking about his current source amps, which have no electrical damping at all.
http://www.firstwatt.com/pdf/art_cs_amps.pdf
There may be other articles there, this is the first hit I  found on goog.

When I was building boxes for my featrex D5nf FR drivers I built a LM1875-based current source chip amp which made the SDFR sound very good. Stopped all the shouting they tend to do. But the 1.5ohm source impedance tube amp Manley Snappers were even better. But Cary SLI-80 was atrocious as were many normal voltage source solid state amps. It's a weird thing.

Offline tmazz

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 07:01:14 AM »
I don't think it's weird at all. It is just more complicated that most people realize or at least are willing to admit.

Over my years in this hobby I have dealt with many measurement objectivists who would say that there was no difference between two components because the measured the same. And when a while bunch of us listened and heard the same differences we were told it was all in our heads because the components "couldn't" sound different.

My answer to that was always if we hear a difference that you can't measure it the answer is not that the difference does not exist but rather that you are measuring the wrong things.

Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
TWL Power Cords/MIT Cables

Offline Brap

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 09:30:03 AM »
Astute explanation for sure. Finished the build and bias all dialed in. Initially EL-34 sound has decent low end on my spare Paradigm Studio 10V.5's. Once I get some hours and this thing opens up a bit, will compare to the same amp I built 3 years ago with KT-66's. Nice build and took my mind off a crappy work week last week!
Zu Druid Mk V.
Transcendent OTL
Parasound Halo P5, Oppo 105
Rega RP3 w/Ortofon Quintet Bronze, Vincent PHO8
Teac 3340S
Libtec and Blue Jeans cables

Offline topround

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 01:21:14 PM »
you should know better than listen to Mel :duh

If we hear a difference then it is real, no browbeater can deny what you know!
We all have ears, the guy with a degree in engineering still has the same ears as you and I.

Besides what are they measuring? Perhaps the sonic differences we hear can't be measured yet with the equipment we have at hand. and no better gear than our ears!

Not trying to start an issue here, but just believe what you hear
System consists of an amp a preamp, 2 speakers a turntable and a phono preamp, Also some cables and power cords and a really cheap cd player.

Offline Brap

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 02:11:33 PM »
So with about 25 hours of break-in, amp sounds pretty decent. Will change the rectifier to a Mullard GZ34 since I've read they tend to last much longer than the Chinese one with the kit. Zu Druids sound pretty nice.  Bias is staying quite steady with multiple power ups. Now the recipient of this beauty is looking for some speakers. Local shop in Chi-town (Holm audio) has some nice trade-ins. Will bring the amp in to audition a few sets. Recommendations are always welcome. Choices - LSA, Monitor audio, Vienna Acoustics and saw nice pair of Cornwalls for $1,200 (may be too large).
Zu Druid Mk V.
Transcendent OTL
Parasound Halo P5, Oppo 105
Rega RP3 w/Ortofon Quintet Bronze, Vincent PHO8
Teac 3340S
Libtec and Blue Jeans cables

Offline richidoo

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 03:27:07 PM »
DIY?   
http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Plutone.html
http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/8008-CORNER.htm

'Vintage' Legacy speakers have relatively good sensitivity, but low impedance dips in the bass are not great for small tube amps. But I liked it. Extremely satisfying, musical listening experience.

As for Cornwalls, the bigger the woofer, the better, imo. With low power tubes, it's wise to lean towards speaker types designed during that era, specifically for tube amps.

The world sorely needs a new, tube friendly, high sensitivity, large cone, high value speaker design, which incorporates the discoveries of the last 50 years.

Offline StereoNut

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 09:04:05 AM »
... If we hear a difference then it is real, no browbeater can deny what you know... just believe what you hear.

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Offline Brap

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 07:08:59 AM »
Thanks for the links. I'll check with my friend to see if he wants to take on the challenge. Funny coincidence -- I built the Joplin amp several years ago and it is still going strong.
Zu Druid Mk V.
Transcendent OTL
Parasound Halo P5, Oppo 105
Rega RP3 w/Ortofon Quintet Bronze, Vincent PHO8
Teac 3340S
Libtec and Blue Jeans cables

Offline richidoo

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Re: VTA ST-70
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 08:32:17 AM »
The DIY speaker from Bob Brines using TangBand W8-1772 driver is pretty good if funds are limited. But it's single driver, so the high treble beams strongly. I loved the sound of the floorstanding model but couldn't stand the beaming.
http://brinesacoustics.com/Pages/TangBand/Main.html

Transcendent Sound version is similar, but I never heard it.
http://www.transcendentsound.com/Full_Range.html